Congress and Oregon will hit you with the same big tax next week!

National Taxpayer Union is alerting on the first tax of Congress: “The House and Senate will soon vote on the first tax hike of 2009. Will you help us stop this government grab in its tracks? Obama, Reid, Pelosi & Co. want to increase the federal tobacco tax to bankroll a massive expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).Even if you don’t smoke, you should be concerned that your own taxes will have to be raised later on to pay for the huge spending obligations in this bill. “

Oregon is doing the same with a bill that creates the creates the Oregon Health Authority, a new bureaucracy that enfolds the healthcare related responsibilities, and staff, of the Dept of Human Services as well as creates a vast new bureaucracy to over see healthcare, insurance, etc. It is the not-so-subtle creation of single-payer, State run healthcare. It makes Massachusetts’s system seem like the bastion of freedom. It includes a big tobacco tax and tax on health insurance and managed care.

and it does one other big scare…It grants the Oregon Health Authority the authority to administer oaths, take depositions and issue subpoenas without going through the judiciary.

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Posted by at 06:00 | Posted in Measure 37 | 17 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Rupert in Springfield

    Trying to comprehend the massive cavernous heads of vacuity that dreamed up this brilliant idea in this economic situation would be like trying to fully grasp the concept of the singularity that was all space and time at the moment of creation.

  • Sagano

    If the Oregon Health Authority has that kind of power, they should be elected.

    • Anonymous


  • dean

    I suspect the *massive cavernous heads of vacuity* (BTW, that is good enough to someday displace *naddering nabobs of negativism* Rupert) place getting kids some health insurance above keeping the cost of killing oneself by smoking low. And remember, Obama himself is a smoker and will have to pay this tax. plus, have you ever been to a Vegas Casino? Lots of smoke and highballs. This can’t be good for Harry Reid.

    • sybella

      The casinos are no longer heavy duty smoke, They cater very much to non-smokers. I think you’ve been watching too many movies.

      The tobacco tax will not get kids health insurance. That is an excuse to cover up the greed that is rampant in Salem.

      Several states who are a little smarter than Salem have realized that every time they raise the tobacco tax they actually get less money and have started reducing the tax.

      Currently in Oregon alone the tax on a carton of cigarettes is now at $11.80 per carton. RYO tobacco and little cigars are currently taxed at 65%. I think that’s more than enough.

      I would prefer my customers stop smoking because they want to and not because they are bludgeoned by those who think they have all the answers and don’t know beans from shinola.

    • Rupert in Springfield

      Oh no one questions the motivations here. I mean we all know this is being done with “the best of intentions”. That’s the phase one hears about as often as “not fully funded” after all.

      No, intentions or purpose is not the concern for me. Rather my reference to noggin vacuity of noggins was that given our record deficits now and into the foreseeable future, one would be hard pressed to think of more irresponsible action than to start a new entitlement program.

      Then again, elections do have consequences and with the Democrats fully at the helm in Oregon and nationally the order of the day seems to be spend spend spend. Reflecting on that the phrase “so drink and be merry for tommorow we die” pops into my head however your mileage may vary. Consternation over deficits seems to not be a concern of the left these days. I’m sure I have no idea why.

    • Rupert in Springfield

      Oh and thank you for the compliment about the massive cavernous heads. In shah Allah it gave you a chuckle even though you may disagree with the jeweled lotus of infinite wisdom that is my position.

  • Bob Clark

    Some people sure have selective reading skills. A tax on healthcare insurance is mentioned above, and not just the tax on tobacco.

    So, the majority folks who are self reliant and have private health insurance plans get taxed so as to make their health insurance less affordable. All because a board of faceless appointees get to be in charge of a new bloated government bureaucracy. No doubt these appointees have the usual business and government connections to the ruling class. It’s not for the children as much as it is to transfer monies to ruling elites, union bosses, and career politicians in need of a bureaucracy position after they’ve done their political tours in Salem.

  • Rupert in Springfield

    Oh, and in case this sounds familier to anyone, it is!

    Remember a few years back when congress was trying to raise the cap for those eligible for S-CHIP from twice the poverty level to four times? Yep, that’s it, where people making $80k ( ok Dean, Im sorry $79,005.00 ), 100k in some of our more expensive areas like NYC would get taxpayer funded kiddy care.

    Well, this was passed twice by congress and vetoed twice by Bush. He had the odd position that it was absurd to fund a program that would only grow in liability with revenues from a product with declining sales.

    Pretty sound reasoning if you ask me, and that was when the economy was good. Well, now with Democrats in complete control you can pretty much bet on passage.

    As an example, on cigars the proposal is to raise the cost above wholesale by 53% with a cap of $3.00 per cigar.

    Were in the money… were in the money…

    Boy, I sure wonder if cigar sales will decline after that?

    Huh, and then I wonder if the tax on health insurance will have to go up to compensate?

    And Gee, I wonder if what will happen then is people will either drop their insurance or raise the deductable to some real high amount?

    And wow, I guess we will have less insured, or not seeking treatment because of the deductable?

    Oh boy, and then guess what, I bet they become more susceptible to having a government take over of insurance?

    Ok – That’s it, I take back my thinking this was all done with the best of intentions. Looks like its another screw the little guy, we want more power brought to you by you know who…

    • dean

      So that means they are not massive cavernous heads of vacuity after all? Darn.

      Bottom line…government should take over health insurance. We have the most expensive and least effective health care system in the industrialized world. So if that is the intent or unintended result, go for it.

      • Rupert in Springfield

        >We have the most expensive and least effective health care system in the industrialized world. So if that is the intent or unintended result, go for it.

        Of course! wouldn’t want to subject the actual plan for national health care to a vote would we? That would get those meddling masses too involved.

        ein zwei drei vier

        nationale Gesundheitsfürsorge uber alles!
        Uber Alles
        nationale Gesundheitsfürsorge!

        Anyhoo the whole thing works for me. We have just about the most expensive per pupil k-12 education system in the world and government does a good job ensuring its the least effective in the industrialized world so why not have a matched set!

        The only modification I would make is to have one more law. Mandatory death penalty for any advocate of national health care who sought care outside the system. If they subject others to it, then they should equally suffer the consequences. I like to think of it as incentivizing.

        No more limousine liberals who like to force a system on everyone else, and then jump out of it when they don’t like the results. Let’s make sure they don’t pull the same stunt people like Clinton and BO did with public schooling and their kids!

        • dean

          Gesundheit! Achtung! Nein sprechen Deustche!

          We have the most expensive, not very effective K-12 system because we have more poor people proportionately than our colleagues/competitors in Europe, Japan, Canada and Austrailia. We have the most expensive and least effective health care for related, but not identical reasons. Other countries have already proven socialized insurance to be superior in cost and delivery of results.

          An up or down vote in Congress on an entirely socialized insurance system is not going to happen because there are too many lobbyists representing well compensated insurance companies, hospitals, and doctors. Intermediate steps, which might eventually lead to a government system out competing the private system, are doable. Expansion of s-chip is doable. Opening Medicare to uninsured people under 65 is doable. Establishing a national floor for private insurance companies that prevents them from high-grading is doable.

          Rich people, including Clinton, Obama, McCain, and Bush, will ALWAYS be able to bypass ques and pay more for better services, including expensive private schools for their kids and the best available doctors. They can even aford to breath pure oxygen if they choose. Does that mean we should not have laws against air pollution?

          I know…I know…a Dean diversion. Or maybe just an analogy to help illuminate.

          • Rupert in Springfield

            >An up or down vote in Congress on an entirely socialized insurance system is not going to happen because there are too many lobbyists representing well compensated insurance companies, hospitals, and doctors.

            Why is it I get kinda sweaty when you go all fascist on me? Maybe the phrase “I love a man in a uniform” should be changed to “I love a man with an armband”

            Anyway, isn’t it annoying when that silly democracy gets in the way?

            Although I wonder. Why is there never this sort of concern when big unions do the same thing? Oh well, never ask for consistency from I liberal, that’s my watch word!

            Anyway, of course you are right. No, when it comes to big government takeovers or other liberal plans, historically its always worked best to avoid democracy.

            I think we all remember how outraged people were over Hillary care. And boy do those in congress remember it. 1994 was a pretty banner year, and you can bet the Democrats don’t want a repeat. I don’t know how many from that period are still there, but I think the history of peoples disfavour with this sort of thing has not been forgotten.

            Best to shut them up on this go round. Government health care fans have learned well, keep the foolish populace quiet so that their betters can do as they wish.

            nationale Gesundheitsfürsorge uber alles!
            Uber Alles
            nationale Gesundheitsfürsorge!

            >Intermediate steps, which might eventually lead to a government system out competing the private system, are doable.

            Well Duh!!!!! Of course you take intermediate steps before a final solution is imposed.

            Anyway, of course government can tax something out of existence and then step in to fill the void, that’s entirely my point.

            That’s nothing new.

            Government would have to tax the private sector to make the government sector more competitive, that’s been going on for years.

            >Expansion of s-chip is doable.

            >Opening Medicare to uninsured people under 65 is doable.

            Government programs do not run on use of the word “do-able”.

            Please explain where the money comes from for this given that our only big experience with government health care, Medicare, has proven to be vastly more expensive than when first projected.

            Same for Bush’s drug plan btw.

            Um, actually, now that I think about it, is there a government program that came in not exceeding projections?

            >Rich people, including Clinton, Obama, McCain, and Bush, will ALWAYS be able to bypass ques and pay more for better services,

            Oh I don’t care about them bypassing it. I care about National Health Care supporters bypassing it much the way rich NEA supporters do with private schools.

            Therefore the death penalty if they get caught as such sidestepping does not foster strong belief in National Health Care.

            This could be administered fairly simply. The government health care system would have to be voted on every few years, lets say five, otherwise it reverts to the system we have now.

            Everyone would vote, and their names and votes would be recorded in central records. Surely no one would have a problem with this as this is the same system open ballot system BO and Ted support for union voting.

            If it can be shown at any time that someone who voted yes for the system went outside it for their own benefit, then we would have the death penalty. Sure this is a fairly Stalinist tactic, but I don’t think national health care supporters would object to it. After all its a Stalinist tactic to bankrupt private enterprise so that government can step in to fill the void. Frankly I think deportation to centralized camps to await execution would be in keeping with the way you propose to implement the program in the first place. People would know that those foisting National Health care upon the populace were receiving the exact same care. There would be no escape for the masses, but there would also be no escape for the limousine liberals. Surely this would do nothing but generate support for the program

          • dean

            Rupert…such a flair for drama. Calm down.

            First, you are right about true and blue liberals. As a group we are not “consistent” because we are context oriented. Sometimes a certain approach makes sense, other times not. Consistency is a sure sign of a narrow mind and a lack of imagination. Liberals, by definition are broad minded and usually imaginative.

            Beyond that, recent polls suggest that put to a referendum my side wins on health care. Quinnipac asked: “Do you think it’s the government’s responsibility to make sure that everyone in the United States has adequate health care, or don’t you think so?”

            60% said yes. 36% said no.

            ABC News Poll: “Which of these do you think is more important: providing health care coverage for all Americans, even if it means raising taxes, OR, holding down taxes, even if it means some Americans do not have health care coverage?”

            66% said coverage for all. 31% said hold down taxes.

            There are many more where those came from. Plus Obama won and the Democrats way expanded their majorities in Congress. They largely ran on expanding health coverage and on raising taxes on the upper income earners to do so. Doesn’t that election count as democracy?

            Plus…government does not need to do much of anything to make private health insurance more expensive and less useful. Private insurance is doing a great job of that with little help from government.

          • Rupert in Springfield

            >Liberals, by definition are broad minded and usually imaginative.

            If liberals are so imaginative, why cant they start their own business like I did, buy their own insurance like I do and stop whining to me for money for their damn national health care?

            Broad minded? No, Liberals are hive minded, not broad minded. Don’t forget I live in Eugene and moved here from NYC where I grew up. If there is one thing I know, and know well, its liberals. Broad minded they aint.

            You show me a room full of 100 liberals, and I will show you a room of 100 people who all agree on AGW, who all agree on single payer health care and who all agree the problem with public schools can be fixed by flinging more money at them.

            Show me 100 liberals and for any given problem I will show you 100 people spouting the same old tired solutions they have spouted for years, with the same old dogma to back it up.

            And when I presented a list of how all these solutions have failed in the past?

            Id show you 100 liberals who can chant “not fully funded” in better unison than the Vienna Boys Choir.

            Believe me, I grew up around some pretty big liberals, you step out of the group think in a liberal social situation and you aint getting the bong passed to you on the next go round.

            Don’t believe me? Try going to Oregon Country Fair with an NRA shirt on. I did as an experiment with my wife a few years ago. Spent the whole weekend, ran a booth. Nope, not a non hive mind in the bunch.

          • dean

            With due respect, you are mixing the term “liberal” with the term “left-wing.” Sure…there are left-wing dogmatic people, just like there are right-wing dogmatic people who subscribe to a set of unshakable principles or beliefs that they do not allow reality to intrude upon. Eugene is a hotbed of the dogmatic left, so your encounters are no surprise. I myself, lacking pierced body parts, tattoos, and Jesus sandals feel like a conservative when in Eugene. But I repeat…”liberalism,” by definition (look it up) is a political/economic philosophy that is open and broad minded. This is why there is the famous phrase, “a liberal is someone who can’t take their own side in an argument.” We are natural skeptics and have learned to live with uncertainty.

            It might surprise you that many liberals, myself included, have started and run our own businesses. I’ve spent 17 of the past 30 years self-employed, paying for my own health insurance and double the SSI contribution, just like yourself. Walk into any private architecture firm or coffee shop in Portland and you will bump into liberal owners. Manufacturing is an area where liberals are harder to find because engineers and MBAs tend to be more conservative.

            As for liberals agreeing on everything…maybe that is your experience. It isn’t mine. Quite the opposite, hence the other saying, “I don’t belong to an organized political party. I’m a Democrat.”

            Non-dogmatic people tend to be evidence based. If single payer has shown itself to be the best system (highest results for least cost,) and it clearly has, then we are for it. By definition “single payer” means all into one pot, so yes, we have to drag you along on this one. If the evidence says burning of fossil fuels is the primary cause of global warming, then we accept that as well. And since we only have one planet, we have to drag you along on that as well.

            An NRA t-shirt at the Country Fair is waving a red flag in front of a lot of bulls. It’s got zip to do with “liberals” though. Left-wing zealots….sure.

            And by the way, did it occur to you that all those craft booths at the fair are run by independent business people? VERY independent in some cases…as in living in yurts far off the man’s grid.

          • Rupert in Springfield

            >But I repeat…”liberalism,” by definition (look it up) is a political/economic philosophy that is open and broad minded.

            Actually you are not repeating, you are re wording. You said:

            “Liberals, by definition are broad minded and usually imaginative.”

            I’m not interested in getting into a conversation between the classic and colloquial definitions of liberalism. I got bored of that one in my teens.

            Liberals, in common parlance is, in fact, pretty close to a synonym for left-wing.

            By the way, my wife, a reformed liberal, still a Democrat, well, sort of, ( she is really pissed about the health insurance mandates of late, her insurance has gone up due to them ) is the one who came up with the phrase “hive mind” as applied to liberals.

            Anyhoo – I have probably spent way more time living in very liberal areas than most, yourself included. I have never been involved in a personal relationship with a partner who was not, at least at the outset, a liberal.

            I lived in NYC for 30 years Corvallis 10 and Eugene 8. The majority of my friends are liberals. I know liberals like the back of my hand and on political and social issues they are not in the least bit open minded, at least until they meet me. Then I beat it into them.

            >It might surprise you that many liberals, myself included, have started and run our own businesses.

            Actually it wouldn’t surprise me. Most liberals I know are self employed.

            You show me a liberal who is self employed, and Ill show you someone who supports raising taxes on corporations yet probably doesn’t declare cash sales, probably runs personal items through the business as an expense and generally takes every deduction he can while claiming “Id gladly pay more taxes for (insert not fully funded program here )”

            >Walk into any private architecture firm or coffee shop in Portland and you will bump into liberal owners.

            You show me an independent coffee shop and Ill show you the liberal who owns it. Ill also show you a coffee menue that is not based on ones ability to pay. Ill also show you zero rich liberals standing around in the coffee shop paying for poor liberals coffee.

            If you have some time Ill also show you a $5 Latte that has about fifty cents worth of ingredients in it, some kid getting paid right around minimum wage to make it and the liberal who owns the place sitting god knows where drinking this fancy schmancy coffee talking about how he loves “the working stiff, the little guy” yet wouldn’t be caught dead drinking Folgers which is probably what the working stiff guy drinks because he cant afford what this Fair Trade Latte guy is selling.

            Ill also show you a liberal business owner who probably doesn’t provide health insurance yet wants to mandate it for other employers, who definitely doesn’t pay union scale but is for tariffs to assure “fair trade” coffee and who probably pays more than one or two workers under the table and who probably was against applying minimum wage law to wait staff because they get tips.

            Look, Dean, I know these people, I have lived with them forever. I have never not lived with them and have never had at any point in my life the majority of my friends NOT be liberals.

            In fact, the last social situation I was in where I was not the token conservative was the Oregon Catalyst meet and greet something like nine months ago!

            That’s how I know liberals so well and can recite the orthodoxy of the belief system.

            You show me a liberal and Ill show you a person who is 10 times more likely to have an ACLU card than an NRA card.

            You show me a liberal and I will show you someone who supports unions, but never hires them.

            You show me a liberal and Ill show you someone who believes in raising corporate taxes but never declares a dime from a garage sale or cash side business they have.

            You show me a liberal and Ill show you someone who probably believes in affordable housing, but charges market rate on any rentals they own. Show me a liberal in Eugene and Ill show you someone who probably charged several hundred a night to rent their house for the Olympic trials last year.

            You show me a liberal and Ill show you someone who says they would be willing to pay more in taxes to support schools. Ill also show you someone who probably contested their property tax bill in the last decade.

            You show me a liberal and Ill show you a person who claims to be on the working guys side but wouldn’t be caught dead living near a trailer park.

            You show me a liberal and Ill show you someone who claims to value all cultures equally. Ill also show you someone who makes fun of NASCAR and tractor pulls.

            You show me a liberal and Ill show you a person who claims to want a classless society and Ill show you someone will make “Southern hick” references at virtually any opportunity and when making a funny quip that involves impersonating a stupid person, probably does so with a Southern accent.

            You show me a liberal and Ill show you someone who supports the courts affirming gay marriage or civil unions but is not too crazy about letting a vote of the people decide (for the record I support gay marriage or gay unions, I do not support court imposition of them).

            You show me a liberal and Ill show you someone who supports unionization of almost any given industry. Ill also show you someone who probably hasn’t bought a pair of American made shoes in the last 20 years and who probably has shopped at Wal Mart, Target, Amazon or the like more than a few times in the last year.

            You show me a liberal, and Ill show you someone who is against shipping jobs overseas to workers who are paid less than workers here. Ill also show you someone who if they travel probably loves going to third world countries in part because its so cheap once you get there.

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